Prior to the Oregon Classic, the Woodburn wrestling team nearly pulled out a victory over the visiting 6A Canby Cougars in a home dual on Wednesday.
Juan Velasquez opened the dual with a first-round pin over Landon Sprague before the Cougars picked up back-to-back victories by pinfall and technical fall to take a 11-6 lead.
Wesley Vasquez rallied the troops with a second-round pin of Asher Chaffee at 126 pounds, sparking a streak of five consecutive victories for the Bulldogs.
Hector Paniagua and Freddy Hernadnez followed with first-round pins, while Kaden Christiansen took a 10-2 major decision over Caden Millar at 145 pounds.
Misael Ramos concluded the run for Woodburn with a second-round pin over Zack Markell.
Canby responded in the mid-to-heavy weight classes, beginning with a first-round pin at 160 pounds to spark three consecutive victories.
Woodburn's Jaime Cruz stemmed the tied with an 8-4 decision at 195 pounds, giving the Bulldogs a 37-29 advantage with two matches left to go.
But the Cougars pulled ahead in the end, winning the final two matches by pinfall to come away with a 41-37 victory.
The match came on the heels of a successful trip to the Southridge Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 11, where the Bulldogs placed fifth out of 11 teams.
Led by Vasquez and Hernandez, Woodburn placed five wrestlers in the championship match of their respective brackets. Vasquez went 3-0 in the 126-pound bracket, culminating in an 11-3 major decision over Liberty's Tanner Santesson in the finals.
Hernandez made short work of his opponents, claiming victories by pinfall in all three of his matches in the 138-pound bracket.
"The wrestling team is starting to show progress on the mats and little by little we're improving," Vasquez said. "It's very exciting to see each and everyone improve day after day."
Paniagua (132), Christiansen (152) and Alex Avendano (182) each placed second in their respective championship matches.
Paniagua's trip to the finals came after a thrilling 12-10 overtime victory over Ty Pearson of Central. Down two points in the final seconds of the third period, Paniagua was able to turn Pearson on a far-side cradle, picking up two quick points fora nearfall as time expired. Paniagua scored an early takedown over Pearson in the overtime period to advantage to the finals, where he fell in the first round to West Salem's Caleb Henderson.
On the girls side, Woodburn placed a pair of champions to finish second with 51 points, one point behind tournament-winner Central.
Ericka Petronilo (170) and Areli Valtierra (190) each claimed championship victories in their respective weight classes, while Angie Lopez (115-120) placed second in her bracket.
Valtierra took down Lincoln's Dina Ross in the third round for her lone match of the day, coming off a loss two days earlier, which she said helped push her to her win on Saturday.
"This week has been a week in which I've been working my but off to be able to get better," she said. "On Saturday, I was hungry and I wanted to win, when I was in that match I gave it my all and I learned what it actually meant to be a team."
The Gervais wrestling team traveled to the Toledo/Siletz Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 11, placing seventh out of 13 teams.
Led by 195-pound Andy Cruz, the Cougars scored 53 points to place in the middle of the pack.
Cruz had the best day among the Cougs, advancing to the championship match with a first-round pin over South Albany's Trenton Bohanan before falling in 2:53 to Sheridan's DeAndre Broxterman.
Fabian Santos and Alex Giron gave Gervais two more wrestlers in the placement matches., Santos took fourth in the 170-pound bracket after going 4-2 on the day, while GIron was 1-2 at 182 pounds to place fourth as well.
Santos opened with a second-round pin of Kennedy's Jose Nunez to reach the quarterfinals, where he fell in a 12-3 decision to J.J. Watts of Grants Pass.
He rallied in his next two matches, defeating teammate Reynaldo Marrufo in 2:43 in the consolation side ot he bracket, followed by a second-round pin of Damion Nava from South Albany.
Santos took an injury victory over Ramie Halbrook of South Albany in the consolation semifinals to advance to the third place match where he nearly went the distance against Toledo's Hunter Lewis, losing by pinfall in the final second of the third round.
Giron rallied from an opening-day loss to Hayden Lackey of Grant's Pass, beating Sheridan's Cian Onder in 36 seconds of the consolation semifinals. Giron met Lackey for a rematch in the third-place match, lasting until the third round this time before falling in 4:31.
Skylar Kempton went 2-2 for the Cougars at 120 pounds, while Diego Elizarrerez (285) and Jose Garcia (132) each added wins as well.
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